Andy

February 13, 2012

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Commentary on Someone Like You from Metafilter (connected to the NYTimes piece on anatomy of a tear jerker): "When she gets to the bridge ('nothing compares') she sings the melody over a 5 bar sequence- instead of the far more common pop structure of 4 bars of 4/4 (or 8 bars of 4/4 as per classic middle 8). I think that this is successful because the ear- every time- retrospectively hears the 'bittersweet' phrase as an interjection into the normal unfolding of 4 bars – a lesser songwriter would *not have inserted bar 4 ('bittersweet') into the song and would have instead written it as a 4 bar bridge*. I try to imagine this by humming the lines as 'Nothing compares no worries or cares- regrets and mistakes they are memories made- who would have known how bitter [DELETE BAR 4]… taste…' but it's hard to hear the song any other way now – but that's why it's a remarkable song. This is also the way Beatles songs with irregular phrase lengths can 'capture' our ears- apparently forever from looking at their record sales. I think maybe the norm of the in-out breath/pulse/heartbeat and a standard of regularity against which we can experiment with literally transforming time is one of the main little bits of magic that songs seem to do to us." cc Kelly Green Brian McKnight Full analysis at http://www.metafilter.com/112667/Anatomy-of-a-TearJerker#4181539

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